A dispatch from my brain-space, STOP.
This is a cry for help, STOP.
A message from crowded neurons, STOP.
A telegram, a dated mailman, it shouts for me, STOP.
For the first time in a long while, I have a deadline. A hard and fast date by which I must accomplish a task. I can’t miss it—not because I’ll be punished, but because I’ll be demoralized. Another missed opportunity simply because I couldn’t “get it together.” I don’t want to miss out on anything, much less because I found it too hard to slap some words on a page before the sun revolved around our Flat Earth a few more times. I’ll get it done. I always “get it done,” even if I don’t “get it together.” But that doesn’t mean my subconscious and full conscious have vowed to act in coordination. They’ve been hard at work keeping me from work. Classic me!
To provide an example: Monday, the day I’d decided to knock out a first draft of my assignment, I had a full-blown panic attack. I got in the car to go home from work, having outlined in several pen-scrawled notebooks the tasks before me, but instead of turning the keys, power to engine, they shook with my hands and my heart, my brain rattled in its skull, and my eyes locked on my car’s stained ceiling, hoping it all would pass. I laid there for twenty minutes. Then I drove home, still shaking. I turned up public radio to drown out my heartbeats with indie tunes and stories of strife. The driving didn’t help. Neither did the screaming, which I did in ample bursts at stop lights red, yellow, and green. I “went for a run.” A sure sign of high-staged breakdown. I bruised my toes in flat-footed sneakers. Even an asthma attack could not calm my vibrating nerves. What finally did the job, and what I should have turned to from the onset, was a burger. A beautiful burger.
In other things out of my control (but that definitely have origins in my secret-brain’s battle against my work-brain): my shower stopped working on Monday. The water pressure cut out. I was left with a trickle, like a toilet whose guest’s pelvic floor had long since disintegrated. Unable to deal, I washed my armpits in the sink, dry-shampooed, and went on my greasy way, thinking things would resolve themselves through mitosis or some other science. Big shock: this didn’t happen. Instead I went unclean like some medieval, one-bath-a-month peasant for two days. I convinced myself, instead of dealing with the problem, that I was somehow responsible for my shower’s poor work ethic. That I must be sabotaging it as a means of distraction from my actual tasks at hand. Perhaps I spent my night sleepwalking, taking crowbar to pipes until they were too bent and mangled to perform. That would at the least explain the headache I woke with these dirty mornings.
But, like Macklemore's career, all crises must end. I went home last night and unscrewed the shower head from my shower. Water came spewing like manna from thirsty heaven. Demonic and clogged device in hand, I began work on my first draft.
Now I have a handful of days to finish and have found new ways to distract myself (as of this morning I had no hot water; how'd sleep-me manage that?). I'm no longer screaming at traffic signals. But there's always next week. Next week, which will mark a year since my several-times interrupted exodus to Los Angeles. But that's next week. There's a lot of plumbing to attack before then.